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on September 24, 2017
Every recipe that I have tried so far has been flawless. These are traditional recipes of authentic professional pastries. If this is your thing, I highly recommend it.
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on November 21, 2017
I love pastry recipe books. This book has something for everyone. I enjoyed going through it and finding recipes I will use in the future.
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on October 24, 2017
The recipes are not formulated for the home cook. The items I made were dense. I wish I hadn't purchased this book.
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on November 20, 2017
great recipes !
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on March 9, 2004
I have baked my way through this fabulous cookbook for the last couple of years and have yet to come across a better cookbook for baking. Actually, I have to respectfully disagree with the reviewer who recommends Rose Levy Beranbaum's Pie & Pastry Bible over Pastries from the La Brea Bakery. Though I love Beranbaum's Cake Bible, I have found the recipes in The Pie & Pastry Bible to be fussy and rarely turn out as promised.
I consider myself a fairly experienced baker, but have always been intimidated by pastry. Yet I have tried several pastries from this cookbook and all have turned out beautifully (including the Pumpkin Pie, which is indeed the best I have ever had and got rave reviews from my Thanksgiving guests). The directions are clear and easy to follow and the sections on muffins, quickbreads, and scones will keep the novice baker busy for a while until she or he gets up the courage to try the croissants and tarts. Pity not the poor bride who gets this for a wedding gift --maybe her husband will give it a try while she's at work.
One word of caution --get ready to spend some money on kitchen equipment if you get addicted to Nancy Silverton's fabulous recipes. Some of them require cake rings and molds most home bakers don't have on hand. However, lest you be discouraged by that warning, I also have to say that many of the recipes require basic pans and tools.
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Enthusiast: Bakingon September 3, 2017
I found lots to love in this cookbook: intriguing recipes and good "Equipment" and "Sources" chapters. I'm not troubled by her equipment recommendations: if you're baking, you expect to need a mold or two, and some of the things she calls for, such as cake and flan rings as well as pastry bags, are incredibly inexpensive (although I'm disappointed she didn't recommend the traditional Ball-jar substitution for cake rings). Pastry brush? She tells us to buy it from the hardware store! Metal pie weights? Dried beans will work just fine. Almost all of her ingredients are already in our pantries, although we might have to pick up some almond paste or pecans. She calls for some specialized ingredients which are easy to find on Amazon or via her Sources: for example, White Lily flour. For one ingredient few of us would have, baker's ammonia, she tells us that baking soda will substitute. On the whole, very accessible ingredients. She even uses canned pumpkin! However, in my Kindle edition, there are some notable negatives: there are fewer than a handful of photos. There is, apparently, no Index. The TOC is clickable, recipes click to "Sources," and embedded recipes are clickable. As for the recipes, although many are accessible to most home cooks, her pastry chapter is not: she's a tart snob, and I say that with a huge smile because I am also a tart snob. A tart is a pie without a safety net: there is no pan. A tart is not what one bakes in a gorgeous white ceramic Williams-Sonoma pan with scalloped edges: that's still a pie. A tart is baked either in a shell with a removable bottom or, in Silverton's preference, classic French with no bottom whatsoever. I also always make tarts because so few dare to brave tarts, and they are truly superior to pies. So, although the author and I are simpatico as tart snobs, I feel it's important to say that--for pies/tarts, this book, which offers only tart recipes, is not for the novice. If you begin to shake when you start to make pastry dough--as I used to, decades ago--you should make only fail-safe pies, not tarts: that way you only have to worry about how your pie tastes, not whether blueberry filling is going to seep out and cover your oven floor and/or kitchen counter. Moreover, although the author's tart recipes are intriguing, her only "traditional" recipe is for pumpkin pie, so if you're looking for a traditional blueberry or pecan or apple, you're out of luck. Her recipe for brioche is non-traditional, abbreviated, almost as if she expects us to know how slowly the classic recipe adds the butter, but she doesn't tell us (unlike Cook's Illustrated, for example) why her recipe is as good as or a good substitute for the classic. The author also tells us that there is no substitute for puff pastry made the long way, but Julia Child, Patricia Wells, and even the famously-inflexible Madeleine Kamman disagree: all provide recipes for "quick" puff pastry. I've used them, and they work: not the same as the real thing, but WAY better than pate brisee. Finally, there are NO photos or illustrations for either technique or finished dishes (except, I think, for one photo of crackers). So, my recommendation is, if you're tempted to use Chef Silverton's recipe for puff pastry, brioche, or croissants, go ahead, but DO pull out your Julias and use Paul Childs' superb illustrations to guide your way.
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on April 23, 2016
Covers a huge range of pastry styles (check out that table of contents). Some methods and ingredient amounts are too precise to be practical, but that doesn't stop me from following recipes with 90% loyalty and relying on my instincts and experience to figure the rest out. Annoying that methods often span different pages from ingredients, and you're dividing ingredients up to be added in different stages (once or even twice). Also, be aware that a "cup" of flour in this book is going to equal at least 135g for all-purpose flour. When Chef Silverton says a dough will be sticky, I find it would be unworkable without an added dash of flour in the dough. Great results all told, and a go-to reference for so many pastries I return to time and time again.

Recommended recipes: danish dough, brown butter pecan muffins, lemon muffins, graham crackers, linzer cookies, fairy gingerbread (maybe called something different), jelly doughnuts
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on September 2, 2017
I have the hard cover version. Utterly worth any price for the Dried Fruit and Nut Scones recipe alone, which I no longer have to hope that Pete's Coffee still has at least one left of every morning. I am addicted to them. Nancy's Ginger Scone recipe is my go-to for easy office pastries. Her recipes are sublime. The book and her Desserts book kept me going after she left La Brea Bakery.
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on March 26, 2017
Absolutely love the book! It was everything I hoped it would be. Step by step is wonderful. Probably one of the best books I have ever purchased.
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on September 24, 2016
I love Nancy Silverton. She is the best. Her books are fantastic. Her recipes work! You can watch a video of her and Julia Child make dessert, totally awesomeness. I have all her books and have made most if her breads. I have even made her pizza from Mozza! I'm a fan.
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